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The American Chemistry Council (ACC) recently recognized BASF’s TDI plant in Geismar, Louisiana, with the 2019 Responsible Care Award for waste minimization, reuse and recycling. The toluene diisocyanate (TDI) plant team and the company’s environmental, health and safety (EHS) experts worked together to turn the challenge of recycling nickel catalyst into an opportunity for reuse.
“The award recognizes BASF’s commitment to sustainability and our engagement for waste reduction,” said Geert Janssens, vice president of BASF’s North American isocyanate operations. “We create chemistry by making the best use of available resources. Our efforts at the Geismar site are a winning example of doing just that.”
The diaminotoluene (TDA) production process within the TDI plant uses a nickel catalyst. The nickel, which becomes contaminated with TDA residue, previously was disposed of after usage. In 2015, BASF implemented the new reclamation process in which the nickel catalyst is washed and sent to the reclamation facility for reuse. Since then, the process improvement has saved more than $300,000.
“We want to make sure we are taking the right measures from an environmental and a sustainability standpoint,” said Shontel Stewart, BASF EHS specialist. “We look at all alternative methods before sending anything to disposal.”
In addition to the ACC Responsible Care Award, BASF also received the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality 2019 Environmental Leadership Program Award in recognition of outstanding achievement toward efforts safeguarding the environment and the community.
“This was a three-fold benefit,” said Daniel Wolf, environmental team leader at the Geismar site. “We were able to reclaim the material, it no longer went for disposal to a landfill, and the washing technique of the project led to reduced potential exposure hazards for personnel handling the material.”
For more information, visit www.basf.com.